'Solo Player' by Kussh Sinha, photographer and co-founder of House of Creativity.
On the occasion of their parents Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha’s marriage anniversary last month, Sonakshi Sinha and her brothers Luv Sinha and Kussh S. Sinha launched House of Creativity (HOC). The online art platform aims to showcase and promote Indian emerging artists.
HOC will promote the artists via programmes such as an online micro art residency, online meet-ups and HOC Salon Series. It also plans to develop strategic partnerships with commercial brands to help their artists' careers cross-pollinate.
The three co-founders who are artists themselves – Sonakshi paints, while both her brothers are photographers – believe that the online art space has immense potential. A painting in the 'Ganpati' series by actor Sonakshi Sinha (right).
Excerpts from a conversation:
Did the idea for the platform develop during the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, or have you always wanted to do something in the arts space?
Luv: This was an idea that came to me a while back. I started working on it but then the lockdown happened and certain things, like our timelines, were affected. We couldn’t have an official launch event where we could have our friends, family members and most importantly our artists, so we had to do a digital launch keeping in mind that it’s the best way to go about it. But yes, we had started working on it. It wasn’t a lockdown project.
Can you tell us how the three of you decided on the artists?
Sonakshi: Choosing the artists was a collective process. Also, we have a really good team behind us which includes art curators and art managers. They help us connect with the artists. The platform is such that we are inviting other artists, whether established or someone who wants to start out. We have kept it small at present because we want to start with a mix of artists working in different mediums and we are able to help them get a reach which they probably lost during the pandemic.
Why not include some established artists as well?
Sonakshi: At present, I am also an emerging artist in the art scene. I have been painting for a while but honestly for me, it’s difficult to know what the next steps are, who to connect with, where to begin, etc. I am pretty much in the same boat as the other artists on the platform. Also, it’s a mix. We do have a few established artists who are selling their work for slightly higher price points. It’s a milestone for me as well. I sold my first painting commercially on this platform. We would love to grow along with the artists we are housing on the platform.
Luv: To add to that, emerging artists are usually the ones who would need a platform that allows them to reach the largest audience because they are just starting out. Established artists are where they need to be. We want to assist others and that’s the goal behind starting the platform.
How do you plan to grow the platform and promote these artists?
Luv: We have already started showcasing their work digitally on our social media channels and our website. In the future, we plan on holding exhibitions by our artists. At present, it’s an uncertain time with regards to the pandemic but our goal is that our artists have the largest visibility possible. We want to add more artists as well as more styles of art.
How do you see the online art scenario playing out once things get back to normal?
Kussh: The advantage of online is that it’s not restricted by space or geography. You don’t need somebody to come down in real time to your exhibition or store. They can see it at their convenience from where they want and when they want. So, I think that going forward, as with all businesses, it’s going to be an omnichannel sort of platform. When things get better with time, we will look at exhibiting our artists offline as well. But as of now, the potential for online is immense.
With all three of you busy with your professional commitments, how hands-on are you going to remain once things start rolling at HOC?
Luv: Yes, my sister has her films, my brother has his film projects and I will get busy with acting. At the same time, I don’t think anyone in my family believes in doing anything half-heartedly. One has to make time for it.
Sonakshi: It is something that we are all passionate about and not something we want to distance ourselves from.
Kussh: Also, there are three of us so we can always balance it out. Like Sonakshi said, it’s not just a hobby but a passion for the art world that we want to grow and expand.